Giving a farewell speech is a commendable act and a very important contribution to a memorial ceremony. Friends and family will long remember this contribution, so you may feel honored by your contribution to this difficult event. You certainly shouldn't feel overwhelmed by the idea; it's not that hard to write a poignant farewell speech.
Method 1 of 1: Writing a farewell speech
Step 1. Be confident Be sure of yourself and stay positive
Do not forget that you are able to write and deliver a beautiful farewell speech. Don't worry about whether you can write the perfect farewell speech; the most important thing is to give the best of yourself in the short time you have and given the fragile state you are in. Don't bother with questions like "What should I say?", "Will people like this?", "How long should it be?", "Where do I start?"
Step 2. Find inspiration in memories, stories, or feelings you felt for your loved one
You can flip through photo albums, watch old family videos, or bring out clippings again. Ask friends and family to share their stories and favorite memories.
Step 3. Think about what tone you want to strike
It can be sad, serious, thoughtful or humorous. You know best which tone is appropriate.
Step 4. Outline the main points for the farewell speech
They will help you structure your thoughts and focus on the basic ideas and themes that will make the writing process easier. After you've listed the main ideas, you can break each idea down into smaller parts so you don't lose sight of the details. The more details you integrate, the easier it will be to write a first draft.
You can outline the outline with the method that suits you best. You have traditional vertical summaries, with letters and roman numbers. You can also work with free association; this stimulates your creative thinking as you can move from one idea to another regardless of their interrelationship. Write the person's name at the top of the paper and as the ideas come, write a word or phrase that briefly summarizes that thought. For example: “charity campaigns.”
Step 5. Work out the ideas you've already written down
Write down everything that comes to your mind. After you write down the main ideas, go back to your summary and number the main ideas in the order you want to tell them.
Step 6. Write a first draft and remember that it doesn't have to be perfect
You are going through a difficult emotional time. If you're having trouble writing, don't panic or give up. Give yourself some time to calm down. View your summary. It is important to know that the editing of a text is a large part of the writing process. Your draft will improve as you work on it. Start slow, not knowing exactly what you're going to say. Let the summary guide you and put your ideas on paper. Try writing a letter to your loved one to generate even more ideas (your farewell speech can take the form of a letter, by the way). Write as soon as possible. You will have time later to correct mistakes and rewrite sentences.
Step 7. Beginning of the Farewell Address
Finding the right words to capture the audience's attention can be one of the most difficult things in the writing process. If you don't know how to start the farewell speech, skip this step and keep writing. You can always come back to this. Do you want to say something funny? Something moving? Something profound? All these options are possible. But you want to get your audience involved, so what you choose should be powerful. Here are some examples to start your farewell address:
- Quotes can be a funny, inspirational, spiritual or religious way to start your farewell address. This could be a quote from a famous person, your loved one, a friend, the Bible or any other book. Remember that such quotes can find their place anywhere throughout the farewell address.
- “Johann W. von Goethe once said that an early death leads to a meaningless life. Fortunately, this cannot be said of Jennifer due to her exceptional existence.”
- “I remember Mark used to say, 'God certainly has a sense of humor, or I wouldn't have married your mother.' I had to laugh every time he made fun of his wonderful marriage. Mark and Hilde were true kindred spirits.”
- To ask. Start the farewell speech with a question and also give the answer.
”My father once asked me: “Bram, what would you wish for if you were on your deathbed?” I looked at him in surprise. He said, “I can tell you what I won't say. I won't say I wish I had worked more or made more money. I will say I wish I had spent more time with my family.” That's why he was such a wonderful father: he loved his family unconditionally."
- A poem. A poem is a beautiful way to write a farewell speech. You can write it yourself or read a poem that your loved one liked.
"The trees come out of the ground / And from their trunk the twigs / And everyone thinks it's quite common / That they get leaves again / We see them fall to the ground / And then grow again / So the earth has taught us / that all that dies shall flourish." --Show Hermans
- Continue with the farewell speech: the middle part of the farewell speech fits as closely as possible to the opening. When you close a topic, move on to the next topic in your summary. The more detailed your summary, the faster the actual writing will go. If you run out of ideas on a topic, just move on to the next topic and finish the rest.
Step 8. Remember to integrate your audience into your text
Make sure they feel addressed. tell stories that make them laugh or cry. You want them to remember the person they knew or loved.
End the farewell speech: You want the ending to bring together everything you've said before. You want your listeners to feel that everything is nicely rounded. You can repeat an important characteristic or theme that you integrated in your farewell address or you can summarize how your loved one has given meaning to your life. A quote or a poem is a nice way to close
Step 9. Edit your farewell speech
The chances are slim that your first draft will be perfect. Correct any mistakes you may have made or rearrange the order of your ideas and topics. A few tips:
- Use a casual style. Write as if you were writing a letter to an old friend. You don't want it to sound distant and boring.
- Change the name of the deceased person. Don't just use 'he', 'she', 'mama', 'daddy', 'Kevin' or 'Sara'. Alternate. So you can say he was like that, and Kevin was that, and so on. This reinforces the farewell speech and thus keeps the attention of the listeners.
- Be concise. Say whatever you want to say, but don't forget that it's important that the audience continues to listen. 3 to 5 minutes is a good length. Depending on the speed at which you talk, this equates to 1 to 3 pages.
Step 10. Practice your farewell speech
The more you practice, the more confident you will be and the more impact your farewell speech will have. Practice as often as you can, in front of the mirror and in front of people. If you can already practice it in front of people, you will be less afraid to speak in front of an audience. Your confidence will help you to speak in a natural and relaxed way. This way you also learn your text by heart, which will give you the confidence to make eye contact with your audience.
Step 11. Deliver the farewell address
This is perhaps the hardest part of the whole process. But don't forget that everyone in the room is behind you 1000%. No one will be disappointed, no one will talk about your attitude, no one will criticize your statement. Everyone is there together to remember your loved one and there will be a lot of emotions. The same counts for you. It's no problem to pause while you deliver the farewell address. Try to stay calm and take your time.
- When you type out your farewell speech, use a large font so that you can read your text easily. Place three or four white lines between the lines or subjects. This way you always know where you are in the text.
- Keep a handkerchief and a glass of water handy when you deliver your speech. They are very useful at that time. Don't touch things that can make you jittery like caffeine or other stimulants.
- If you don't like writing, you can also record ideas on camera or on a tape recorder. For some people, the ideas come up more easily that way.
- Nobody is perfect. The person who died probably also had negative sides. You can be honest and talk about this. But always do this with respect and place them in their context along with his/her good qualities.